Bad times at Airbnbs: Quadruple stabbing, fraudulent listing

Incidents in North Carolina, Philadelphia highlight issues

(Photo Illustration by The Real Deal with Getty)
(Photo Illustration by The Real Deal with Getty)

Two incidents around the holiday season have plagued Airbnb.

In Marshall, North Carolina, four people were stabbed at 183 Gid Flynn Road, WSPA reported. Six people were arrested in connection with the incident, including one charged with assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury with intent to kill and two counts of assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury. The others were charged with drug-related offenses.

Deputies responded to the rental at 3:21am on Monday morning, according to FOX Carolina. Four people were treated with stab wounds following the attack, which was deemed to be an isolated incident.

Airbnb released a statement, saying it would investigate the incident and “remove the booking guest from our platform.” The company also said it reached out to the Madison County Sheriff’s Office to support the investigation.

The North Carolina State Bureau of Investigations is also involved with the investigation.

Meanwhile, a Christmas booking became a nightmare for a family and an unsuspecting Philadelphia homeowner.

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Local resident Molly Flaherty saw four people huddled outside of her home on the holiday, fearing potential burglars, Insider reported. She learned Nicole Brunet booked Flaherty’s home on Airbnb, despite Flaherty never putting the property on the site.

The scam involved an “account takeover,” when a scam artist steals the password of an Airbnb owner. A representative from the company told the publication that the listing wasn’t fake, but outdated and likely reactivated by the scammer.

That led to a host of issues for Flaherty. The homeowner claimed it took a week for Airbnb to remove the listing, forcing her to put a note on the door to fend off potential victims of the scam. The listing wasn’t removed until the Philadelphia Inquirer reported about the problem; Flaherty wasn’t contacted when the posting was taken down, which Airbnb attributed to third-party privacy concerns.

Brunet received a full refund from the company, but declined its offer to book her family another rental, instead choosing to pay out-of-pocket for a hotel room.

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Holden Walter-Warner